What Is Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a process of helping individuals with mental or emotional problems by discussing the conditions and issues related to the problem. The following article provides more detail on psychotherapy. Schools offering Clinical Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy helps patients to gain insight into their emotional or mental issues and to develop coping techniques. Psychotherapists use dialog, behavior modification or other relationship-building techniques to help patients address their needs. Psychotherapy is practiced by psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed social workers and counselors.

Important Facts About Psychologists

Work Environment Hospital, school, research lab, or private practice
Similar Occupations Market research analyst, anthropologist
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 19%
Median Salary (2015) $49,031

Source: Payscale.com, U. S. Department of Labor Statistics

Uses for Psychotherapy

There are many applications where psychotherapy is useful, including a wide range or mental illnesses or common life stresses. Psychotherapy is used to treat grief, substance abuse problems, sleep disorders, depression, medical illness, anxiety, phobias, eating disorders and relationship problems. Some patients with mental disorders use psychotherapy instead of, or in addition to, medication. Others use it to heal emotional wounds or experience emotional growth.

Types of Psychotherapy

There are different approaches to psychotherapy, which fall into 5 broad categories. Cognitive therapy helps patients change thought patterns that lead to self-destructive feelings or behaviors. The psychodynamic approach analyzes unconscious meanings and motivations. Humanistic therapy strives to help people make rational decisions and reach their maximum potential, exploring life meaning and self-determination.

Training for Psychotherapists

Psychotherapy is practiced by psychologists as well as counselors and social workers. Psychologists need to earn a Ph.D. and pass a licensing exam. Counselors and social workers generally hold a master's degree, such as a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology or a Master of Social Work. Licensing requirements vary by state.

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